A Philippine Visa is an endorsement made on a travel document by a consular officer at a Philippine Embassy or Consulate abroad denoting that the visa application has been properly examined and that the bearer is permitted to proceed to the Philippines and request permission from the Philippine Immigration authorities at the ports of entries to enter the country.
The visa thus issued is not a guarantee that the holder will be automatically admitted into the country, because the admission of foreign nationals into the Philippines is a function of the immigration authorities at the port of entry.
Definition of a Foreign Tourist (Temporary Visitor)
A “foreign tourist” is defined as a person without distinction as to race, gender, language or religion, who is proceeding o the Philippines for a legitimate, nonimmigrant purpose such as sightseeing, sports, health, family reasons, training or study (excluding enrollment in schools for the purpose of obtaining a title or degree), religious pilgrimage, business, cultural and scientific purposes.
Standard Procedure/Minimum Requirements for applying a Temporary Visitor’s Visa
Application for a temporary visitor’s visa must be made in person. In the case of a minor under eighteen (18) years of age, the application may be made for him by a person who, in the opinion of the consular officer, is responsible for his/her welfare. The minor, not an infant in arms, shall be required to appear at the Consulate for interview, together with the person making the application for him/her.
Applicants for temporary visitor’s visa should normally apply at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction over their place of residence. While some visa applicants may apply at any Philippine Embassy or Consulate abroad, others are only allowed to apply his/her visa at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in his country of origin or legal residence.
The following are the minimum requirements for applying a temporary visitor’s visa:
- Passport/Travel Document Valid for at least six (6) months beyond the intended period of stay in the Philippines;
- Duly Accomplished Visa application forms;
- Passport Photos (2 pieces);
- Proof of bona fide status as tourist or businessman;
- Confirmed tickets for return or onward journey to the next port of destination; and
- Payment of Visa Fees
Other Visa/Entry requirements for Foreign Nationals:
- Minor children below 15 yrs. old Traveling to the Philippines Unaccompanied by or not Joining a Parent in the Philippines A Waiver of Exclusion Ground (WEG) Under Section 29(a)(12) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended is required for children below 15 yrs. old who are traveling to the Philippines unaccompanied by or not joining his/her parent/s to the Philippines. The WEG Order will be issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the port of entry upon submission by the WEG applicant of the following requirements:
- Affidavit of consent by either parent or legally appointed guardian of the child, naming therein the person who will be accompanying the child to the Philippines and with whom the child will stay while in the country. The said Affidavit must be duly notarized by a local notary public or the consular officer at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s country or residence;
- Clear photocopy of the data page of the child’s passport;
- Clear photocopy of the data page of the passport of the accompanying adult or guardian; and
- Payment of immigration fees (currently, P3,120 per child).
- Foreign Nationals on Board Privately-Owned Yachts or Sailboats
A temporary visitor’s visa is required for foreign nationals who are traveling to the Philippines on board privately-owned yachts and sailboats. When applying the visa, the applicants will be required to provide the following particulars of the yacht/sailboat and its crewmembers:
- Crew list;
- Passport details of the crew;
- Vessel to be used for entry: type, name, registration, call sign, and other particulars;
- Estimated date of entry into the Philippine territory;
- Port/Area of entry (Philippine waters);
- Estimated period of stay in the Philippines;
- Character reference/shipping agent in the Philippines (if any); and
- Purpose of visit
Upon entry into the Philippines, the crew of the yacht and sailboats are required to register immediately with the nearest Coast Guard Station and submit the yacht/sailboats to Customs, Immigration and Quarantine inspections.
- Foreign Newsmen, Journalists and Cinema/Television Groups
Foreign newsmen and journalists visiting the Philippines in pursuit of their profession are required to apply for a temporary visitor’s visa. The following are additional requirements for visa application of foreign newsmen, journalist, cinema/television groups:
- Curriculum vitae of newsmen/journalists;
- Shortlist of work credits;
- Copy of one (1) sample article written by the applicant;
- Background of media organization, including target market/audience, circulation, format; and
- Administrative arrangements for the work in the Philippines, as follows:
- List of members of the reportorial team, nationality and passport details;
- Planned itinerary and activities, with storyline for any films to be made;
- List of equipment to be brought by each team member, with certification from the media organization that said equipment will be re-exported at the end of the trip to the Philippines;
- Flight details (arrival and departure); and
- For each team member, one (1) photograph, sixe 1″x1″, to be submitted to the International Press Center (IPC) for the issuance of accreditation card.
Upon arrival in the Philippines, the newsmen/journalists will have to report to the IPC for accreditation.
- Foreign Nationals who wish to take up a short-term non-degree course
Foreign students who wish to take up a short-term non-degree course like language and computer courses must apply for a temporary visitor’s visa. Upon arrival in the Philippines and acceptance by the school/institution authorized by the Bureau of Immigration to accept foreign students, he/she should apply for a Special Study Permit at the Bureau’s Student Desk, together with the following documents:
- Letter request;
- Certificate of Acceptance from the school accredited by the Bureau of Immigration to accept foreign students;
- Photocopy of passport reflecting the applicant’s authorized period of stay;
- Affidavit of Support and Proof of Financial Capacity; and
- Birth Certificate.
Extension of Authorized Period of stay in the Philippines
In case of a temporary visitor’s visa holder whose stay in the Philippines will exceed the authorized period of stay, he/she will have to report to the Bureau of Immigration, secure an extension of stay and pay the corresponding immigration fees. Information on fees for extension of stay and other Immigration fees are available at the Bureau of Immigration website (www.immigration.gov.ph).
The Philippines grants visa-free entry to passport holders of certain countries while requiring a visa to others. Check if your passport will require a visa for entry to the Philippines by selecting the country that issued your passport: